A group of Highland High School students took to the skies last week.
The school’s Fundamentals of Aerospace Technology class wrapped up their final project of the year by launching rockets they designed.
“The students built rockets to test the effects of increasing payload weight on the flight and maximum height of their rocket,” teacher Tim Surine said.
He explained that the students utilized computer-aided design to develop nosecones for their rockets capable of carrying varying amounts of weight, referred to a “payload” by the students.
They then used a 3-D printer to print their designs.
Students also designed tail fins for their rockets.
“One group used a laser cutter to cut their design out of balsa wood,” Surine said. “One group also chose to 3-D print their fins.”
Once the rockets were assembled, the final test came last week, when students brought the rockets to be launched from the football field behind the school.
Working in teams, students used notebooks to record the weight of the payload for each launch.
Another team member used a clinometer to measure the peak elevation of the launched rockets.
“The students use trigonometry to estimate the maximum height achieved by their rockets,” Surine explained.